I don’t know what made me look, but once I did I was mesmerized. My brain was having a hard time processing what my eyes were seeing. How, after all these years, could this be happening?
When one goes to Ad Seg (the Hole), it is common practice to be bounced from cell to cell until those in charge are satisfied with the arrangement. This is exactly what happened to me. In less than 48 hours I was housed in three different cells. Since I expected this, I made the decision to only semi-clean my first cells. Originally I only had a towel and water with which to clean. Eventually I used a few suds from a small soap bar. After I had the opportunity to purchase a few items from the prison store, I graduated to using shampoo.
My cell floor received more attention than other areas. When I arrived at my permanent cell, the corners held softball-sized balls of hair and lint, but after a thorough sweeping and cleaning it didn’t look too bad. Yes, this cell is old and the concrete floor is well worn. The cracks, small divots, and rough patches testify to the many years of use. But one thing I liked about this mature floor was the rich, dark color it had retained.
The floor was well worn, but the rich shade gave it a feeling of elegance. Every time I damp-cleaned it, up to four times a day, the wet areas would glisten – just a bit. The shiny areas were nice to look at.
This morning, however, as I looked down at my floor I didn’t see the beauty. I realized that since my cellmate arrived I had not taken the time to admire the floor. This bit of time was cut from my agenda.
I rubbed my eyes to make sure I was not seeing things, then I included my cellmate. “Hey, cellie! Is it me, or is the floor slowly losing its color?”
“Yup,” he replied. “It’s getting cleaner because we scrub it so often.”
His words hit me right between the eyes, like a “V-8 Juice” moment. The dark color on the floor was actually years and years of built-up sweat and I don’t want to think of what else. The more we cleaned, the more sludge came up. The floor was not losing its color; no, it was losing its unrighteousness.
I believe, and I know, that when we are washed with Christ’s blood at salvation our sins are 100% forgiven. Our debt is paid and our slate wiped clean. But, the life we once lived is still part of our story, cluttered with stacks of luggage that trip us up and hold us back as we try to live our new lives. Years of abuse perpetrated on others, and that we have received from others’ hands, puddle together and create a painful stain. We become experts at hiding these stains when we are around others; we look good as we live soberly, hold our Bibles, and go to church. Others praise us for our neat, tidy lives; deep down, all that baggage keeps us from being who we should be.
There is only one solution; no, it’s not going to someone who calls himself a “counselor.” There is no need to “confess your sin” to a man when you have confessed it to the only One who can forgive. And He will, but the scars from years of sinful living remain.
Only by washing yourself in His Word will the baggage, stains, and scars heal. Slowly, but surely, His Word will carry off the stains that have darkened your soul and heal the abuse that has been a stumbling block to your walk with God.
We should renew our minds daily and deep clean our lives with God’s cleansing Word. The living Word is more than just daily Scripture reading; it’s also the purging agent God uses to remove our stains.
I encourage you to read the Word daily. I do, and I’ve discovered that my life continues to heal, from the inside out.
………praising the power of VO5 shampoo……….
Adrian G. Torres